Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Elsa the reporter (Diane Krueger) is in Afghanistan investigating something or another.  Heck if I know what and to be honest with you it's not all that important in the grand scheme of things.  What is important is that things are getting hot, it is Afghanistan after all, and her sidekick Amen (Mehdi Nbhbou) has urged her, implored her, begged her that it is time to go.  Did Elsa listen?  Of course she didn't because if she did then we wouldn't have a movie to watch, like we watched 'Forces Speciales'… yeah we could've called it 'Special Forces' but we like to be all authentic and stuff.

Elsa and Amen have been snatched by the completely evil terrorist Zaief (Raz Degan) who I gotta admit looks more like an International Male catalogue cover model than evil terrorist, but there it is.  And like most terrorist his plan is to make his captors read some kind of crazy statement then cut off their heads, the problem being that Elsa refuses to read the statement and chose instant death instead.  Well Zaief can't do that… why I don't know… so he kills somebody else.  True enough that didn't make any sense to me, but it also didn't make any sense to his religious leader either who chastised my man for having a weakness for white women. 

The situation is a dire one for Elsa and she needs some rescuing which introduces us to our super badass, hardass, toughass French Special Forces unit who will be called into action by the President himself to save this woman.  Initially the plan was for these six tough men just to do some recon and provide intel until the cavalry came to take out these hordes of Taliban bastards, but there's no time.  It's up to these six men, all by themselves to get this job done.
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Tagged with this impossible mission is tough as nails Capt. Kovax (Djimon Hounsou), his number one Lucas (Denis Menochet), Tic-Tac the jokester (Benoit Magimel), Marius (Alain Alivon) who puts the Hard in Hardcore, Victor (Alain Figlarz) who will shoot you as soon as shake your hand and finally the newest edition to the team, baby faced sharpshooter Elias (Raphael Personnaz).  Are these men happy about having to go head up against an enemy that outnumbers them by what looks to be 75 to 1?  No they are not.  Are they going to turn this job down?  Absolutely not. 

The suicide mission begins, they save the girl, the enemy is everywhere… and dumb as a bag of stupid rocks… but there are so freaking many of them, not to mention the horrific terrain they are dealing with so it's not looking good.  Regardless, our heroes have sworn to save this woman no matter what… at least Kovax has, other members think this is dumb… and not all of our heroic men are going to make it, but it was kind of fun watching them try.

Director Stephane Rybojad's film 'Forces Speciales' is a fairly simple movie.  Heroic dudes on the run from stupid terrorists, and believe me when I tell you that as far as movie villains go, this group of terrorist were so dumb it was almost comical.  These cats made Boris and Natasha look like Dr. Moriarty.  I get that there's more of them than there are heroes, but wave after wave after wave of terrorist running out in the open to get mowed down by automatic gunfire was kind of stupid.  To be fair our heroes were also out in the open a lot, in just as much peril as these stupid terrorist, and realistically even by accident you would've thought that at least a couple of heroes would've sucked down a bullet or two during these insane open field bullet barrages, but I guess our heroes are special forces so they can shoot and also have a special forces force field protecting them most of the time. 

This bit of ridiculous nonsense shouldn't lead you into thinking I didn't find 'Forces Speciales' entertaining, oh good heavens no, I had a ball watching this movie and not the least of these factors was how utterly ridiculous it was.  Strangely enough another thing I found entertaining, which normally I wouldn't in an action movie, was the overwrought, melodramatic ballet of violent death that some our heroes were treated to.  Clearly to keep things somewhat fair not all of our soldiers are going to see Paris again, at least not alive, so where the enemy was just mindlessly mowed down, our heroes in peril were treated with soaring strings, slow motion, heightened emotion and glorious overacting from their colleagues when they fell.  It was kind of awesome.  There was plenty of action, the action was well executed if not somewhat silly in presentation and the actors playing our tough soldiers, Djimon Hounsou in particular, did a solid job of selling us the fact that they were indeed badasses.

Diane Krueger doesn't get a lot of credit for being a decent actress, possibly because she's pretty and being pretty and talented is just patently unfair, and while I wasn't buying her as a tough-as-nails reporter covering the middle east, she did a fine job as a beleaguered damsel in distress on the verge of complete collapse.  Plus the woman has a command of languages that is simply phenomenal.  I guess her native language is German, but she speaks a number of languages and she speaks them all flawlessly which in itself is an enviable gift.

'Forces Speciales' might not be the penultimate seek and rescue war film, enemies that run out in front of bullets repeatedly kind of prevent it from being that, but was an entertaining one and this we cannot deny.
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